The Psychology of Homosexual Relations

Human sexuality is the normal, natural capacity of all humans to have erotic experiences, stimuli and responses. It is a natural expression of sexual sensation and related intimacy within and between human beings; as well as the expression of identity through sex and as influenced by or based on sex. Man, it is said, is a sexual being because he possesses a sex and expresses his/her self sexually. So far as one is biologically functioning, without any impairment, there is an innate desire – what is called ‘Sex-Drive’ – for one to express his/herself sexually. In fact, it is one of the basic features/characteristics of a normal living thing!

Sexual expression among humans can include behaviours such as: Individual expression –  choices one makes in terms of how one dresses, talks, or moves through the world that reflect aspects of his/her sexual self; Interpersonal interactions – the way one relates with others, and the extent to which one connects physically or emotionally with other people; Cultural/Educational engagement – the kinds of things one reads, the movies and TV one watches, the music one listens to, and the performances one chooses to go to or participate in.

However, in recent times, in the political, social and religious circles, the sexual orientation and expression of most people have so changed from the natural/conventional culture that has, perfectly, served humanity for billions of years, to some unnatural /creative ways that have brought in new, terrible problems with the potency of challenging the very foundations of the humanity.

It is understood, from a purely medical perspective, supported by empirical evidence, that the urge for sex emanates from hormonal secretions at the age of sexual maturity and that the primary instinct from this urge is to enjoy sexual sensation from the stimulation of the sexual organs. It is also understood that in this respect, human nature can go at any length to realize these pleasures, be it by personal stimulation of self (masturbation) or by physical sexual contact with a second party. But what is quite unimaginable, and of which there is no empirical evidence of natural activity to support its urge and desires, is the abnormal way in which man/woman seeks to express his/her sexual self to animals like dogs, horses, cows, sheep, goats et cetera, or engaging in a brutal humiliation/mutilation of another man or woman for the satisfaction of the sexual self.

More so, the most widespread disorder – which is, most often, not called what it is, ‘a disorder’ – that has been given a strong legal status by many powerful and developed countries and some religious bodies is homosexuality. Homosexuality is an abnormal condition of sexual desire or romantic attraction directed to the members of the same sex.  When this abnormal attraction/expression takes place among men, it is technically referred to as Gay Sex and when it is exhibited among women, it is known as Lesbianism.

Some, erroneously, – or rather purposefully, in a bit to prove its worth and advance the course of homosexual life style – have argued that homosexual tendencies are natural sexual expression exhibited by normal people and therefore should not be made a subject of evaluation or criticism by individuals, governments or religious bodies. But, prevailing scientific evidence and socially researched and tested date have proven that it is more ‘nurtural than natural.’

However, in the course of interactions between man and his environment, other environmentally related factors can condition a person to become homosexual. But, no one is born with the innate desires for homosexual life style. In fact, the natural, biological and psychological uniqueness of man attracts the natural, biological and psychological uniqueness of a woman, - for company, for play, for interactions and other activities even before the age of sexual attraction. This is because the uniqueness of both sexes attracts and excites each other. This is the beauty and the complimentary nature of the sexes!

National Governments like the United States of America and most of the European Nations have legalized homosexuality as a normal sexual expression just like heterosexuality. If such legalization is seen and considered as a process of eliminating all forms of prosecution or discrimination among people – whether straight or gay, then such a law is a moral step towards a perfect social order. But, on the other hand, when homosexuality is given a marital status and benefits by civil law, it is simply the most terrible form of evil that has the capacity to destroy humanity in the future!

On the other hand, other countries have criminalized Homosexuality making it either punishable with terms in imprisonment, like Nigeria or a death penalty like Islamic States. Frankly, the end to or the correction of this anomaly is not in killing the guilty or in spelling out long and tedious prison terms for them. Just as firing squad and public humiliation of thieves has not stopped the spread of crime, incarceration or killing of homosexuals will not stop the spread of homosexual relations which obviously is now everywhere, even in the most sacred places.

Besides this, when one indulges in homosexual act, it is wrong to designate him as a criminal or an evil person, as far as it was not rape or some sort of blackmail, molestation of minors or humiliation but a willful agreement between two parties of legal age. Homosexual act falls under the psychological domain borne out of a sexual personality disorder without any criminal intentions. Thus, the best approach is ‘guidance’ not ‘prosecution’.

But, before Guidance Programme can be initiated for the homosexuals or any form of solution can be given to persons with homosexual attraction, the first step is understanding why a person prefers to be a homosexual in a predominantly heterosexual environment or why an individual feels attracted to the same sex instead of the opposite sex. The second step is to relax the precepts that stigmatize the gays and lesbians and welcome them with love and charity so that they can be free to associate with other people, express their sexual orientation and be chastised with love. In this, there will be an opportunity for the homosexuals to, at either one point or the other, reexamine their sexual preference. When this happens, the church and the society should make available avenues for guidance and any other forms of help.

Stigmatizing the homosexuals and others with awkward sexual orientation is not going to correct the anomaly. Rather, denying and stigmatizing them creates in them a sense of rejection and hopelessness which will harden them to be more adamant and brutal in their exercises. Receiving them in their state of sin and awkwardness and offering the Sacraments to them will not only overshadow them with the love of Christ – which has no boundary or limitation – but will soften their minds and reawaken in them a sense of guilt that will lead them to the path of true reconciliation with God.

Furthermore, unnoticeable to us, there are many cultural, religious, doctrinal, political, social, administrative, academic and economic ideas, precepts, attitudes and regulations that condition people to be homosexuals or at least facilitate the desire for one to be attracted to member of the same sex.  The above man-made variables and others greatly affects a person’s sexual orientation and to a greater extent are responsible for many cases of homosexual preferences. And, until these variables are reexamined and amended where necessary, there will always be preponderance of this abnormality.

Firstly, Family Relationship/Background plays a significant role in the sexual culture and orientation of a child as he/she grows to adulthood. Of course, the family is the primary agent of socialization and decides, to a greater extent, the physical, psychological and metal wellbeing of the child and his/her later relations with the adult community. For instance, if a girl child is born into a family where her father verbally and physically abuses her mother, refuses to cater for the family, maltreats every member of the family and leaves them to the care of the mother who has no tangible economic outfit, and buries himself on alcohol and on prostitutes. What psychological image/mentality will the girl have of men? What will be the girl’s relationship with boys and later with men in her social environment? How will the girl feel in the presence of a man? What will be the girl’s contextual meaning of the name ‘man’? Will it really be easy for such a girl to give herself to another man in the name of marriage?

The girl will grow up believing that all men, at one point or the other, are like her father. Psychologically, the images of her father’s brutality will appear before her in the presence of any other man and she will automatically hate him. Gradually, she will begin to see women as the helpless victims worth sympathizing with. In fact, if her preacher begins to tell her that God is a man, then, a new massive problem will emerge – she may find it very difficult to believe in God or any type of favour that is said to come from God.

When the child grows into adolescence, with the strong sexual urge, characteristic of that age, the ‘male-devil’ image remains and expands in her mind. The idea of having to get married to a man begins to torment her with nightmares and she begins to gradually consider the female sex as the nearest option. On one of these processes, she might begin to express herself to other girls sexually and when once the habit is expressed and received; and the normal sexual sensation is achieved, it becomes very difficult to disassociate oneself from the act.

It is possible for a counsellor to step-in and re-orient her mind from her experiences and gradually try to create a new image of a man in her. In the process, the counsellor can make her aware of the consequences of her choice and let her understand that evil is not natural in men but a socially learned behaviour opened to both male and female. 

Secondly, the present Economic Situations that are increasingly becoming grimed by the day due to mechanized corruption and mismanagement of national resources and opportunities for the employment of youths have contributed tremendously to the preference of homosexual lifestyle. Of course, it is established that the urge for sexual intercourse is a natural, biological process which manifest in every individual corresponding to his/her age. When a man for example, comes to the reality that there is at least a three-present chance of a girl getting pregnant even with the use of condom and the reality of raising a child in an excruciating economic situation, the safest alternative is for the man to express his sexual desires to a party that cannot lead him to such nightmare of raising a child in the dark tunnels. In this respect, same-sex relation becomes a ready answer because his fellow male will never get pregnant. This instance applies also to young girls who do not want the calamity of getting pregnant before marriage because of the social stigma that come with it.

At this point, sending him/her to prison or stoning him/her to death does not provide a solution to the problem. In fact, sentencing a person with homosexual habit to jail will only increase and perfect his/her homosexual urge because the prison environment itself is homosexual – men and women are kept far apart.

Thirdly, Teachings/Beliefs on Marriage as held by the Church and the gravity ascribed to marriage by the Church and some cultures have actually frightened people way from heterosexual unions. The simple reality is that marriage comes as a result of an agreement between two individuals who, as at the time of this agreement were happily available for each other. This does not in any way mean that these two persons are going to be happy forever or that the character exhibited by one party will be the same forever because behaviour is socially formed not a biological natural trait – a very good and loving man/woman today can become a beast tomorrow!

In matters such as this, the Church teaches perseverance and prayers and frowns extensively at divorce because according to the Church, marriage is a sacrament instituted by God that was meant to be forever under whatever circumstances, - ‘for better or worst’. Those that have made bold steps to walk out of the claws of death in the name of marriage are not given Holy Communion because they are seen to being guilty of mortal sin.

If the Church wants to properly discourage or at least minimize the preponderance of divorce among her faithful or mend broken homes, one giant step is to identify why there are broken homes in the first place and begin the mending process from there and not to designate victims as sinners. There are serious and many a time, life threatening situations that affect the family and the only way to save life, maintain happiness and growth for either party and the children is for them to break-up. It is an unforgivable fallacy to call a man or a woman an adulterous because he/she has decided to terminate a relationship that almost cost his/her life.

Furthermore, arguing that they should not remarried is practically very imprudent! Because, not only does remarrying cleans off the terrible images of the past relationship but it is a very good opportunity for a healthy refreshment, a psychological relief and mental healing. Asking them not to remarry is sentencing victims of broken homes to perpetual mental torture and eventual death! And whereas there are many recorded cases of death and mental disorder resulting from perseverance on violence in dysfunctional homes, men/women gradually become afraid of taking up the responsibility of marriage. And, if a relationship with the opposite sex has the tendency of leading to marriage, homosexual lifestyle remains the only union where such demands will not be put on their shoulders at least because it is not recognized.

Fourthly, Media Factors have actually been very helpful in promoting homosexual life style. Now, it is very obvious that the media has the ability to make or mar the society. Because of its novelty, its ability to appeal to multiple sense organs in the human person and the position it enjoys in the society, many youths take the media as a model. However, research has shown that the media influences the society it serves. For instance, it is a common sight to find youths and even adults copy terrible fashion styles, malapropos hair styles, use of drugs and alcohol, obscene behavioural patterns, unhealthy postures/movements, gun violence and fighting techniques et cetera, from magazines, televisions, home videos and the internet.

In today’s world, children are easily exposed to the most extreme, debasing sex acts because of the presence of internet pornography – almost the largest database on the internet with all manners of colours and glorification. Before the Internet Age, kids learned about sex in the most restricted way that was often morally guided with reprimanding hands of the elders who were then, physical representation of morality itself. In more repressed societies, it was a fumbling guessing game; in more open places, there were ceremonies, rituals, wise elders and careful teachers who ushered young folks into the mysteries of human sexuality.

With the presence of internet pornography, children and youths learn sexual expressions that are awkward. Most or even all pornographic videos are for entertainment and not education. In order for the actors and actresses to better entertain their audience, they can exhibit or experiment terrible acts like sleeping with animals, torture, fetishism, homosexuality, incest and all manners of nonsense. Therefore, copying sexual expressions from pornographic videos could be extremely dangerous to the sexual wellbeing of the person. And, there are gross evidence that most illiterate young boys/girls learn about the possibility of same-sex relations from the pornographic videos and the internet. 

Fifthly, Feelings of Low Self-worth, which is mostly caused by the uncivilized or uncharitable used of words by an elder to describe or scold a child leads to the development of inferiority complex. For instance, one of the first men to publicly declare his gay orientation, an African American literary writer, James Baldwin, claimed that his uncle who raised him after his father’s death often say publicly that he (Baldwin) had ‘the face of the devil’. The uncle in question was a pastor and young Baldwin stated hating the church and its members and all that it stands for. Traumatic experiences, like the Baldwin’s case, in one’s life, as a child lead to feelings of inferiority which in turn lead to unsuccessful interaction among peers. This damages the child’s self-image and makes him/her feel inadequate.

This social situation and the feelings of inadequacies create in the child a kind of preference different from other children and a kind of mindset that can have a tremendous impact on the development of the child and the way he/she sees the world. One major effect of low self-worth among children and youths is the inability to stand before a large audience and the ostensible shyness in approaching a member of the opposite sex for personal discussions. These feelings will gradually make him/her to develop an alternative life style. That alternative life style is likely to involve his sexual expression and it is likely to be with the same-sex.

Also, classification of youths based on sex for morality reason (whatever that means?) like the girls or boys school, Boy Scouts, Girls Guide, Catholic Girls Organization, Catholic Boys Organization and others, encourages the expression of homosexual attractions among people who already had the tendency. Highly hormonal teenage girls/boys, repeatedly confined close to same-sex, with no access to members of the opposite sex, find themselves unexpectedly, inexplicably attracted to same sex, whether they consider themselves homosexual or not. Instead of Catholic Boys or Catholic Girls why don’t we consider Catholic Children Organization? Instead of boys Scout or Girls Guide, the society can consider, Youth Scout.

Finally, the practical steps to solving any problem is by understanding the cause and the psychology behind the problem. For the case of homosexuality, this work attempts to x-ray the possible factors that could condition a person to be homosexual and tries to suggest ways through which such conditions can be attended to. This work is of the opinion that if every mechanism in the social, religious, economic and political arena is put in place, it is possible to properly address this anomaly that has eaten deep into the fabrics of the society.

Idiongo Ebong

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